Gweru City Council finally pays workers

Midlands Provincial Affairs minister Jason Machaya
Midlands Provincial Affairs minister Jason Machaya
Midlands Provincial Affairs minister Jason Machaya

GWERU City Council workers have ended their strike after management yesterday paid them their February salaries.

By Stephen Chadenga

Last month workers took to the streets demanding payment of outstanding salaries and bonuses.

The workers only suspended the strike after the intervention of Midlands Provincial Affairs minister Jason Machaya and promises by their employer to pay the February salaries last week.

The local authority failed to raise the money resulting in workers resuming the strike on Monday this week.

Workers’ committee organising secretary Simbarashe Leboho confirmed the development in an interview.

“Workers in the lower grades have started getting their February salaries by today (yesterday),” Leboho said.

“We had experienced a minor hiccup when the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) garnished its money on learning that there was money raised in the council account. We have since talked to NSSA and they reversed their decision.”

Gweru mayor, Hamutendi Kombayi said council was committed to pay its employees.

The council has been struggling to meet salary obligations and blames declining revenue for its predicament.

The majority of the country’s local authorities are struggling financially after the government in 2013 ordered them to write off bills that accumulated since 2009.

A sizeable number of ratepayers are failing to pay bills due to high unemployment while government departments take too long to fulfil obligations.